I stood on stage â€“which I donâ€™t recall â€“ and spoke to those in attendance â€“ which I donâ€™t recall â€“ before my behavior concerned Bonnie Hackbarth, one of the organizers, so greatly she knew she had to step in.
Based on several accounts, before stepping up to the podium, I seemed out of sorts, but no one wanted to embarrass me by saying so. Then, when I took the microphone, I quickly went from not OK to not making sense and was soon ushered off stage, down an elevator and into the back of an ambulance.
Scared, confused and angry â€“ I didnâ€™t know I wasnâ€™t making sense and couldnâ€™t understand what was happening â€“ I refused to go to the hospital, even though the EMTs did their darndest to convince me as they tested me for signs of preliminary possibilities.
Soon, I was speaking normally and making sense, which made me only want out of the ambulance even more. A friend picked me up and drove me home, where I walked inside and curled up on the sofa, mortified, exhausted and bewildered. What in the world had happened to me?
The next morning, I woke up and tried talking out loud to my dogs to test myself. Something wasnâ€™t right. I was slow and unable to retrieve words I knew so well. I spoke on the phone with several friends but hours later couldnâ€™t remember which ones.
When I recalled the blur of the previous evening and realized whatever had happened to me had occurred in front of at least 400 people, I was embarrassed both that it had happened so publicly and that I didnâ€™t know what had transpired. When I looked at my dog, Zeke, and couldnâ€™t remember his name and only knew that it started with â€œZ,â€ I broke down in tears.
My calendar for the following week was packed. I donâ€™t have time to go to the doctor, I told myself. Nearly 48 hours after the episode, I made time. Finally. And itâ€™s a good thing I did.
Iâ€™ll share the rest of my story in next weekâ€™s issue. Itâ€™s a cautionary tale of what not to do, but itâ€™s also one Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center has heard far too many times. All too often, we donâ€™t listen to our bodies and refrain from seeking help for myriad reasons. And sometimes, when we know something is wrong, we donâ€™t always know where to seek advice.
The institute is hosting its inaugural Neuroscience Expo on June 1 to fill that need. The free event is for anyone interested in learning about various neurological conditions, including epilepsy, migraines, Parkinsonâ€™s disease and Multiple sclerosis. The expo is also an opportunity to seek answers from leading experts and to meet other people â€“ like me â€“ who have â€œbeen there,â€ whether as the ailing individual or someone who cares. Information about how to register is below.
Contact Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502.551.2698.